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Dictate by Microsoft Lets You Type with Your Voice

Microsoft Garage has developed Dictate, its own speech-to-text tool that integrates directly with apps in Microsoft Office.

dictate, microsoft, office, speech to text 

Dictate is the newest project to come out of Microsoft Garage, the Redmond giant’s experimental R&D department. This new tool will be available as an add-in for Microsoft Office for Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook. The new Dictation tab will allow users to utilize Cortana’s speech recognition system in conjunction with Microsoft Translator to provide a state-of-the-art experience for Office.

There is compelling evidence that we all speak faster than we type in general. By speaking directly to your document, you can increase your productivity and give your poor fingers a rest. Additionally while using the speech-to-text feature, you do not need to necessarily be right next to your computer as your “type;” simply speaking aloud and clearly will allow Cortana to put your words to screen almost as fast as you can speak them with Cortana’s highly accurate speech recognition system.

While Dictate isn’t the only application to venture into speech-to-text territory (think Nuance) for Microsoft Office, it is the first to integrate Cortana into the mix. Since Dictate is built directly into the Office apps, there is no worry of compatibility or lag. Besides being built directly into Office, Dictate also has some nice tricks up its sleeve:

  • Users can manipulate the behavior of the cursor by using keyword commands such as the following:
    • New Line - drops the cursor down to a new line
    • Delete - removes the last line you dictated
    • Stop Dictation - turns off the Dictation tool
    • Period - adds a [.]
    • Question mark - adds a [?]
    • Open Quote - adds a [“]
    • Close Quote - adds a [”]
    • Colon - adds a [:]
    • Comma - adds a [,]
  • 29 languages are available for speech-to-text
  • Real-time translation for 60 languages
  • Punctuation can be added in manually or through Dictation
  • Users can speak in one language through Dictation and the program can type in another language; for example, speak English and type in Spanish

Dictate is available for download as an add-in for Microsoft Office on Windows. Enjoy this video of Dictate by Microsoft:

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